A project towards a unique ICF training

In several countries of the EC, the ICF has an enormous impact to the healthcare and rehabilitation system. ICF and the UN Convention on the  Rights of Persons with Disabilities utilize and identify the term "disabillity" in equal measure.(1) The transversion of the UN Rights of Persons with Disabilities to the EC, require an adaptation of the health and social systems according to these regulations. Service providers of healthcare and employment already reacted and demanded to implement ICF. As an example:In 2009 the “German Association for Rehabilitation”  (DVfR) gave a recommendation about utilization of ICF in vocational rehabilitation.(2) In France the law on social modernization in 2002 and the law of 11. Feb. 2005 on Disability, included the alignment of ICF in their reasoning.

Especially for people with visually impairment the utilization of ICF would be an advantage to assess the individual needs for health-care, rehabilitation and inclusion. The diseases to the visual apparatus and visual impairment in general are multifaceted and their impact to the  personal capabilities highly individual. An appropriate and valid scoring or ratings of those capabilities, according to the requirements  of the ICF are therefore complicated and tools are rare to find, which  is why cooperation across professions, institutions and borders are  needed. Furthermore is the use of the ICF  not easy:Working with more than 1440 classifications and upt to 7 qualifiers for each item, makes the utilization of ICF especially for professionals who never used similar systems quite difficult (eg.trainer). Teachers will be now in a  situation where they have to use an unfamiliar diagnostic tools, which is mainly medically based. So far teachers have to be trained to utilize ICF with its codes in an appropriate way.  To avoid isolated and non-comparable solutions, created by single organizations, a share of  available "good practice" is inevitable. National and organisation-specific experiences concerning assessment, counselling,  training and case-management  for the focus groups should be shared  within a unique ICF training to produce comparable results.

(1) WHO, WHO Policy on the Employment of Persons with Disabilities, Geneva 2010
(2) Deutsche Vereinigung für Rehabilitation, Die Nutzung der,International Classification of Functioning, Disability
and Health (ICF) der WHO bei Ausgestaltung der Leistungen zur Teilhabe am  Arbeitsleben (berufliche Rehabilitation), Heidelberg 2009.

Picture of the Biopsychosocial model of ICF

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